Obama, White House Attempt To Save Boehner Omnibus Bill

Obama, White House Attempt To Save Boehner Omnibus Bill

President Barack Obama is trying to save the failing 1,603-page omnibus spending bill that almost died a procedural death in the House.

“President Barack Obama supports the passage of the nine-month, $1.1 trillion spending bill roiling the House,” Politico says in a breaking news alert. “The White House’s support comes as liberals were expressing opposition to the package because of a measure that weakens Wall Street regulation. The White House said it is opposed to that provision, but supports the overall package.”

In a statement of administration policy, the White House publicly backed the bill:

The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 83, making appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2015, and for other purposes. The Administration appreciates the bipartisan effort to include full-year appropriations legislation for most Government functions that allows for planning and provides certainty, while making progress toward appropriately investing in economic growth and opportunity, and adequately funding national security requirements. The Administration also appreciates the authorities and funding provided to enhance the U.S. Government’s response to the Ebola epidemic, and to implement the Administration’s strategy to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as well as investments for the President’s early education agenda, Pell Grants, the bipartisan, Manufacturing Institutes initiative, and extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

It’s unclear if the White House will be able to save the omnibus bill. At least 50 to 60, potentially as many as 100, House Republicans will vote against the bill on final passage on Thursday afternoon. That means Speaker Boehner will need Democrat votes to make up the difference, and at this time, it’s unclear if he will get them. Many Democrats would have to break with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Teamsters union president Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. who’ve come out against the measure. 

The White House statement included strong objections from the president to specific provisions that have Democrats up in arms:

However, the Administration objects to the inclusion of ideological and special interest riders in the House bill. In particular, the Administration is opposed to the inclusion of a rider that would amend the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and weaken a critical component of financial system reform aimed at reducing taxpayer risk. Additionally, the Administration is opposed to inclusion of a rider that would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act to allow individual donors to contribute to national political party committee accounts for conventions, buildings and recounts in amounts that are dramatically higher than what the law currently permits.

The House is debating the omnibus bill right now, and is expected to vote on final passage within the next couple hours. 


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